£1,000 pay increase will stretch Scottish councils

Personnel directors in Scotland have warned that councils will find it hard to fund the £1,000 pay rise for key employees.

A revised pay deal for 80,000 local government employees was accepted by public sector union Unison last week. The union called off further threatened industrial action.

Jackie Jones, president of the Society of Directors of Personnel Scotland, said, “Councils will struggle to find the money to pay the February increase and the October rise and this will require vacancy management.”

She added, “The long-term implications are that we are starting with a higher cost base which will be difficult to fund.”

The final offer was made by the Scottish Joint Council for Local Government Employees and amounts to 6.1 per cent over two years with 2 per cent backdated to last April, 3 per cent backdated from 1 October and a further 3 per cent from 1 February 2001.

Staff in areas such as refuse collection, housing and social work will get an extra £1,000 in their pay packets from 2001.

Joe Di Paola, Unison organiser for local government in Scotland, said, “We are pleased we have had some negotiation and an offer has been made that is closer to the going rate of pay settlements in the public sector.”

Unison had targeted 20 councils and selective services within those councils which would have resulted in rubbish not being collected for an indefinite period.

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